Nestlé deal collapses as Stockton Council embarks on ethical
Nestlé jumped at the
chance of sponsoring a Stockton-on-Tees town centre marketing
initiative, seeing it as a way to promote Nescafé coffee, the
principal target of the boycott. Concerned councillors raised
the baby milk issue and Baby Milk Action and Nestlé were invited
to make separate presentations to an extraordinary Council meeting.
Baby Milk Action agreed, only to hear shortly before the meeting
(scheduled for 11th September) that Nestlé had backed out, fearing
"controversy". The Council decided it would be wrong to accept
the £300,000 sponsorship on offer without going through the formal
democratic process and the deal collapsed. The Council is now
developing funding guidelines.
The Local Government
Act 1999 now stipulates "best value" when it comes to awarding
contracts rather than "competitive tendering" and it is
possible that ethical issues can be included in the criteria.
National Children's Homes) decided not to work with Nestlé
last year. NCH assesses each fundraising opportunity against
its ethical fundraising framework. Four charities did
accept Nestlé funds (totalling £1 million) and
are now promoting Nescafé (see Boycott
Consumer Research Association (ECRA) can provide information
on the record of companies. Don't be caught out - give
ECRA a call on 0161 226 2929
hit by bad publicity after turning a blind eye
charge of the prestigious multi-million pound @Bristol water-side
development decided to accept £350,000 sponsorship from
Nestlé without looking too closely at the company's ethical
record. Nestlé was also awarded exclusive rights to run
a café and the vending machines in the development, which
is to have a section to educate children about food.
indicated that the baby milk issue came up when discussing
the Nestlé deal, but no investigation was made. Baby Milk
Action can confirm that we were not contacted. We understand
that the same is true of other experts such as Save the
Children, Oxfam and UNICEF.
The official opening
of the complex on 6th July was targeted by the Nestlé Boycott
Rapid Response Network, prompting coverage in local and national
media (see examples above). Now a campaigning coalition "Nestlé@Bristol.con"
has been formed by local development organisations, trade unions
and churches, calling on @Bristol to withdraw from the deal with
Nestlé as soon as legally possible. This has the support of the
local MP, Valerie Davey.
Baby Milk Action informed
@Bristol that we will gladly attend a public meeting, with or
without Nestlé, to present evidence showing that Nestlé is unethically
marketing baby foods and contributing to the unnecessary death
and suffering of infants. @Bristol has not yet responded to the
Baby Milk Action to join the Rapid Response Network and for
information on the Bristol campaign, which is being coordinated
by African Initiatives.
IBFANers speak about the boycott
Baby Milk Action asked
colleagues at the IBFAN Africa Regional Meeting if the boycott
is important to their work.
"The Nestlé Boycott
is very important. It should continue because Nestlé continues
to violate the Code. We have to strengthen it further so these
violations, especially in the Third World where these things
are harmful, these violations, stop."
Kisanga, IBFAN Africa Regional Coordinator
(former National Breastfeeding Promotion Coordinator, Tanzania).
"We use this to
tell people that what is happening here is not unique to Ghana.
It shows that it is not only people in Ghana who are saying
"No" but there are also people in the UK. The people there are
campaigning because they think they have a voice and they can
use their voice to help some people in the developing world
who do not have a voice."
Charles Sagoe-Moses, Chair of the IBFAN Africa Advisory Committee
Chair of the Ghanaian Infant Nutrition Action Network
to stage an exhibition of boycott art?
The Victoria and Albert
Museum is holding an exhibition on "subvertising" called brand.new.
We thought we would ask our readers to submit designs to us, giving
a new spin on Nestlé advertisements or raising the baby milk issue.
Here are some ideas already on file. If you have other skills
to offer to help us put together an exhibition, please let us
Kit-Kat is the UK's
best selling chocolate bar. Smarties are targeted at school children.
Send us your ideas for promoting a boycott of these products.
puts a new spin on familiar marketing images - "No
Escape" by Crash.
Ian Wright, star of the "No substitute" adverts was
asked to reconsider his link with Nestlé, but did not respond.
"No substitute - for a fat contract?" Come on, Ian.
Give us a call!
could be responsible for a radical image like this? Answer:
The Ministry of Health, Guatemala in its booklet "Protecting
and defending breastfeeding."
Nescafé to protest about unethical baby milk marketing and
bottle-baby deaths. A design from a Baby Milk Action mug,
now a collectors' item.
is getting easier to boycott
to marketing experts Burson-Marsteller 40% of Nestlé's products
now include the Nestlé logo. "Nestle soon recognized that
if governments or activists wanted to attack one of the companies,
they only had to look at the annual report to know its true
identity. At this point, policy was changed, and every company
in the group was given the Nestlé name." says a report from
the Burson-Marsteller Knowledge Development Division.
product lists we produce,
particularly the handy credit-card size ones (available from
the Virtual Shop),
clearly have had an impact. We are now looking to update the
list, which is not easy. Nestlé has around 8,500 brands
(so many it admits it does not know the actual total) and there
are often changes. Here we give a fuller list for the UK. Please
let us know your top 20 candidates for the credit card size
list and we will update it for the 21st century.
reported in Update 22 (printed version)
Grey & Dunn biscuits are no longer Nestlé - inevitably
this still appears on old cards.
paté in tubes
reported, this is still made at Nestlé's Dyna factory in Switzerland,
despite the fact that Tartex has been bought out by the management.
Other products have been moved to non-Nestlé factories, but
Nestlé still profits from this range and we include it on the
owns the brand-name and the company now marketing the products
pays Nestlé for using it.
United States only Nestlé has entered into a joint distribution
venture with Haagen-Dazs' owners Pillsbury (part of the Diageo
group, which also owns Guinness). Ice Cream Partners USA will
sell both Nestlé and Haagen-Dazs brands. Haagen-Dazs has not
been added to the boycott list - do you agree?
not Nestlé, snapped up Ben&Jerry's - the ice-cream war rages
- still Nestlé in some countries
has sold Findus in the UK and Scandinavia to EQT Scandinavia
B.V. Nestlé retains the infant food interests in Scandanavia,
the whole company in Switzerland and Italy and some brands elsewhere.
We have removed Findus from the UK lists.
& Spencer own brand products are not Nestlé. Safeway and the
Co-op promise to tell you if you ask about specific products.
Sainsburys won't say and Asda says it cannot for legal reasons
so both are suspect. Many thanks for everyone who has been writing
to the supermarkets - keep it up!
Not a free festival
organised by Nestlé, but festivals free of Nestlé products!
That's our aim, so why not take some leaflets to your next
festival? Ice-cream vans at the Glastonbury Festival this
year were Nestlé-free zones after we spoke with the organisers
- congratulations to Mr. Eavis and colleagues. Ice cream
vendors even blanked out Nestlé logos on those vans that
Baby Milk Action
was present at WOMAD in Reading and made a small presentation
on the One World Stage, supported by Sonia de Oliveira of
IBFAN Brazil and local MP Martin Salter (many thanks to
Area Contact Catherine Woodhouse for organising the stall)
Mr. Salter spoke about his support for the campaign and
then signed the Nestlé boycott petition (pictured).
Other recent new endorsers
Wildlife Management Ltd.,
- Natural Life
- Expecting Changes
- Apex Bristol
& District Staff Branch - part of the GMB trade union,
- Reading International
- Chandni Chowk
- The Hungry Monkey
Yoghurt Company (Saltash),
- Sunset Café
apologists caught out at church conferences
The Church of England
governing body met in July and considered a report by the Ethical
Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) which was surprisingly complimentary
to Nestlé. However, the EIAG had not consulted Baby Milk Action
and so gave Nestlé credit for its book Nestlé implementation
of the WHO Code. This contains letters Nestlé claims are "official
verification" that Nestlé is doing nothing wrong. As we revealed
in Update 27 (May 2000),
this book has turned into a public relations disaster as governments
have complained their letters have been misrepresented and the
whole exercise has been criticised by the World Health Organisation
and the United Nations Children's Fund.
The EIAG even suggested
Nestlé was embarking on partnerships on the baby milk issue with
long-term critics Save the Children and Oxfam. Fortunately a lay
member of the Synod thought to check with the organisations and
reported to the assembly that it was not true. Baby Milk Action
will gladly support any Synod members who are interested in bringing
the facts before their colleagues.
The Methodist Church
reiterated its support for the campaign at its annual Conference,
striking down parts of a report calling for neutrality. The Church's
call on members to boycott stands.
helps to protect infant health in Bulgaria
to be learning that there is no point ignoring our letters reporting
violations, because members of the public are also prompted to
write by our Campaign for Ethical
Marketing. We received responses to our letter about violations
shown on the July/August
action sheet (company responses, to us or supporters, appear in
full in the Tip of the Iceberg
reports). One case related to a Nestlé advertisement for
Nan 1 infant formula which appeared in a parenting magazine
in Bulgaria (see the
evidence). The text states: "Yes, at present there
are milks that are identical to mother's milk in biological respect
and could be used as an alternative [table referring to Nan 1]."
We received a response
from Nestlé stating: "Even though no Nestle infant formula
brand is advertised, the featuring of the Nestle logo in the middle
of the article could be questioned and for that reason we will
indicate to Nestle Bulgaria that future science-based articles
of this type should simply include a phrase which indicates that
the magazine space was paid for by Nestle."
We informed Chief Executive,
Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, that such responses bring Nestlé further
into disrepute. This prompted another letter written on his behalf
stating that Nestlé Bulgaria had been instructed not to place
such "information pieces" again.